Boeing, Carnegie Mellon unite to make the most of aeronautics big data

Image credit: Reuters

The Boeing Company is providing $7.5 million to establish a lab at Carnegie Mellon University designed to use artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies to improve the process of making aircraft and ensuring those planes are safe.

The Boeing/Carnegie Mellon Aerospace Data Analytics Lab will focus on exploiting big data generated in the design, construction and operation of aircraft to improve on such processes as maintenance schedules, which currently can be based more on historical than current data. Today's aircraft have thousands of data-collecting sensors on them, but making the most of that information can be overwhelming.

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Jaime Carbonell, a CMU computer science professor and director of the school's Language Technologies Institute, will lead the research effort. John Vu, a former Boeing chief software engineer who is now a CMU professor in language technologies and computational biology, is also playing a key role in the lab's launch.

Boeing CIO Ted Colbert, in a statement, expressed his support for the lab: “We have the best and the brightest faculty at a leading institution focused on how we can innovate and solve business challenges for today and into the future.”

A handful of Boeing-directed projects have already been identified for the lab to focus on, and it's expected that at least 20 faculty and graduate student researchers will be involved. 

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